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The following guest article is written by Jilisa Ghareeb.
You may have heard somewhere or read a book or an article about setting routines, creating checklists, and having schedules to help make life more organized. In fact, the topic has been hot over the last several weeks. We are home doing so much more than we ever thought we would be doing. You may (or may not) realize it, but a schedule/checklist is just what is needed!
The crazy thing about having some sort of system; it gives us freedom! It may not feel like it as all these things swirl around in our minds and there is added stress about everything that must be done. But once you start seeing these things on paper there is a realization that there really is not as much as once thought. To get started, follow these steps.
First start with a mind dump. Take all those things swirling around in your mind and write them down. Examples could be:
Exercise, dishes, cleaning, devotion/reading, schoolwork for the kids, work, laundry, errands outside the house, organizing, work on writing a book, meal planning, etc.
Look at the list and start to mark items daily, weekly, or monthly. As you look over the list and think that all of it must be done every day, consider the items that would be the non-negotiables. One personal example of non-negotiables could be exercise and reading. If a couple things from the list are done first thing in the morning, no matter what happens the rest of the day intentionally moving your body and getting some brain food is accomplished!
When all the items are marked, start to organize them into a schedule. This does not have to the kind of schedule where at 8:15am you must do a certain thing. This is more of what needs to be done (at any given time) on that day. Understandably, the daily items will be written down for every day of the week! An example of something that needs to happen every day could be doing the dishes. There will be dishes but the choice of when to do them is left open. An example of something that needs to happen weekly could be writing a book and there is a deadline of so many written pages in a week. Break down that number so that writing happens every day or maybe just 3 times a week.
Do this for every item on the list. Remember this is for you, so there is no wrong or right!
There could be things you want to do everyday that maybe you tend to forget about and by bedtime you are kicking yourself for forgetting again. You see them on your schedule/checklist now, but you know that there is still a chance you might forget. This is where an already set routine comes in.
There is a routine. Everyone has one. Every day things are done without thinking:
Alarm goes off, spring out of bed, walk to the bathroom, turn on the coffeepot, eat breakfast, get dressed and on and on all throughout the day.
The question now is how do you add the items on our checklist/schedule to our routine. Following are a couple of ways to help answer that question.
Example…You have recently decided you want to get healthier and you know that you need to exercise. You want to do this in the morning but are having a hard time getting into a routine. A good trick to add in a new daily item is to tack it onto an already set daily item. Instead of grabbing the phone as you walk out of the bedroom have the workout clothes by the phone and grab those instead. Or maybe as you walk by the coffeepot there is a note on it that says, ‘turn on after workout’. This tacking on trick could be just what is needed to get those daily items all checked off.
Another way to see all those items checked off on the schedule would be to set alarms throughout the day. Earlier it was mentioned that the schedule is not something to make down to the minute (although that could work for some). These alarms would be more of a reminder to check the schedule. If by 1pm there is only have 1 item checked, it is time to step up your game and get more items completed. Set an alarm for every 2-3 hours so that the list is visible more often and therefore giving plenty of time to complete the tasks.
Creating routines, checklists, and schedules is going to take a bit of trial and error. There are times we may think that one way is going to work and discover that it does not. We also discover that we do great for a few weeks and then fall back into an old routine. We love comfort more than change! Give yourself a bit of grace and know that it is going to take some hard work to change.
Remember this about creating freedom in your schedule. We are home and we want to spend quality time with our families. Create checklists, schedules, and routines to give you that freedom for quality time. This is possible! You can do this!
Jilisa Ghareeb has been a Beachbody coach for 5 years. Her favorite part of being involved with fitness and nutrition is watching her clients change and open up a whole new world. As a coach she, is able to help others by introducing them to a change that is often scary, intimidating and full of “what ifs” to an encouraging and inspirational lifestyle full of “I cans”. She uses her own story to show others that everything is possible with hard work and determination. If you’re interested in reaching out to Jilisa for more information you can contact her via email, on Instagram, or Facebook.